Policy questionable

Recently the management of Rider Park revised the rules regarding the usage of the park. Firearms and other weapons are restricted as in the past. However, hunting is no longer mentioned and now appears it is permitted.

One could say you cannot hunt without a firearm or archery equipment, but this is not true. Deer hunters are known to have “organized drives” where the drivers are unarmed and drive or push the deer to the watchers who are armed. Now you may have “organized drives” on the park as long as the watchers are off the park property. Falconers hunt small game with birds of prey. Rattlesnake hunters hunt without firearms or any weapons, so there are several ways one may hunt without being armed.

Also, it appears trapping is allowed in the park providing you have a valid trapping license and obey the seasons. Individuals may set leg-hold traps throughout the park for furbearers such as mink, raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes and bobcats.

One new rule is unauthorized use of trail cameras. Trail cameras have become quite popular in the last few years and many enjoy this activity and have utilized the park for this purpose.

I questions the park management’s reasoning in these revisions. If someone’s dog accidentally gets its photo taken with a trail camera, no harm, no foul. But if the same dog gets caught in a leg-hold trap set for a coyote, the dog may be injured.

I know if my dog got caught in a leg-hold trap in Rider Park, I would be very upset, and I can only imagine how a mother would feel if her child stepped on one.

Another new rule is the park is no longer patrolled; everyone using the park does so at their own risk and assumes the responsibility for their own safety. These new revised rules tell me that almost anything goes and, hopefully, no one or their pets will get hurt while using the park.

Keith Ashenfelder